October 31, 2011


ok folks, these shots are hot off the press...
halloween is such a fun BALANCE.
not too much, but enough to have fun and make memories.
this year we got it!
we've had a full month... i didn't even turn my sewing machine on for these costumes...
this is a live shot of my superMESSY craftroom!
i had gathered some things, we had friends over last night, and when they left my older kids and i did some tracing, some cutting and some ironing.
i think our costumes turned out PERFECTLY simple and fun.
{i still need to get the whole family shot...}
the boys weren't supposed to dress-up for middle school.
they both wore costumey shirts and jakob tied his supermoss cape on. 
(I told him to just wear it and take it off if anyone says anything to him.)
after we got the bigger kids off to school i hurried to iron-on the little girls capes and we flew out the door to the elementary school parade...
oh happy day!

superMOM and her posse'

superBABY most of the parade...

superBABY when dad almost dropped her...


superEllie flying back to her class...

superFAMILY... superDAY...
i hope y'all have a VERY happy halloween!!
isn't life so fun!?!
i LOVE kids!!

October 30, 2011

oh, ordinary day!

"Oh, the ordinary day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me be grateful while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall fall upon my knees, or bury my face in the pillow, or lie among the sick, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."
Mary Jean Iron

October 27, 2011

for my anna.

shawni linked to this song... i cried and had to put it here for you, and my anna.
everybody has a mountain to climb, there is beauty in the view...
someday, with God's help, it may become a beautiful heartbreak.

thanks for the reminder.

ps.  i just cried reading the comments on this song... so many people, each with their own story.
we all have one.
one girl, just lost her husband... she said, "I can't figure out how to make my heartbreak beautiful."
i cry for her... and for all who mourn.
with God, and in time, all things will be for our good.
i remember pondering this when i was in the depths of despair after anna's accident.
i often thought it would be 100 times easier to suffer than to watch someone you love suffer.
i remember reading a scripture about faith and these words stuck in my brain...  "It will begin to be delicious to you."
you do not ever seek for pain or trials... but as you endure they do become delicious to you... delicious in a healing, becoming, refiners way.

i often sang the song, How Firm a Foundation... this verse...
when through firey trials thy pathway shall lie.
MY GRACE all sufficient shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design,
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

There are many Shiny people in the world.
Thank you for shining in my life.
{is it bad for me to want to shout...  just for today Lord, my family is shiny enough!!}
beautiful heartbreak.

black ninja apologies.

after our sabbath day jaunt through the woods, my kids played at home.
no tv means bigger messes.
this day, no tv meant the return of the BLACK NINJA.
and everybody knows that the black ninjas need black eye shadow, all over their faces.
(these pictures are AFTER they cleaned up- i should have taken a picture of the AFTER bathroom.)
dress up and make up and pretend play is one of my favorite things about childhood- even the thought of cleaning up later doesn't bug me most days.

this day,i wasn't feeling good, so i took an afternoon nap.
the professor was hungry, so he was cranky with the kids, which made me cranky with him.
it seems that my kids didn't interpret that line of reasoning...
i found this note when i woke up.
i smile.
at least they know where to turn when you are cranky (prayer and sleep)!!
i love these kids.

as i wrote this blog, i realized that todd and i were just SO tired on Sunday because we were awake with a screaming baby ALL NIGHT on Friday and Saturday and almost every night for the past 6 months.
little eve-er is a stinker at night.
but, on Saturday night i reached my tipping point. 
somehow in one night i just had enough.
i blame her pacifier.
i have never used a pacifier before and i will NEVER use one again.
i HATE them.
she would wake up every time it slipped from her mouth and she would roll onto it and it would hurt her face...  she didn't know how to go to sleep by herself and sleeping time was so sad for her.
on sunday, i trashed the pacifiers and i let her scream herself to sleep.
it was heart wrenching-- for over 30 minutes.
and then SHE SLEPT till 4 am.
She only woke up ONCE the whole night.
in the morning, she was the cutest, smiley baby in the whole world.
so happy, because she had gotten some sleep!!
and, i was happy too...
in fact, my whole week has been a little less groggy.
this girl is taking mongo naps and i haven't missed that little plastic plug one bit.
adios pacifier!
hello sweet baby who has learned to go to sleep!!
ahhh.  life is good.
(she still wakes up once or twice at night... but she eats and goes back to sleep easily.  i have a feeling someday she will sleep through the night completely!! soon.)

i have friends coming over in a short while for a presidency meeting.
the longer i sit here and type, the shorter my list of "things i'm going to clean up before the come" gets
it's already short because i went to bed instead of straightening up last night.
and, i have literally been gone for the past three days so my house is in desperate need of my TLC.
i think i'll stick all the dirty clothes in the laundry room and put towels over it.
see, one more thing successfully crossed off my list...
have a good one.

October 26, 2011


why do my kids want to make a silly face in every single picture?
doesn't that quilt make you want to quilt?
the colder weather is blowing through oregon and i am craving the lazy, indoor days of winter.
Sweet winter... with no soccer games or football on Saturday.
i LOVE seasons.
how i've missed them.

yesterday, we took all our kids to the dentist for cleanings... 6 cleanings.
i need to do better getting my kids to brush their teeth.
i think the problem is they need to TAKE THEIR TIME.
how much of my life am i telling my kids to HURRY UP!?
even as i say those words to a curious toddler i cringe.
children are not designed to hurry.

after the dentist, the professor, eve and i drove anna to Shriner's Hospital in Portland.
We met with a plastic surgeon about Anna's burned hand.
she will need another surgery on it sometime.
we thought it was time.
yesterday, they told us to wait 6 more months and see where we're at.
they also told us that her ring finger bone has no growth plate so it is will be smaller.
it's weird, but doesn't hamper her ability to use her hand, so we are grateful.

on the way home, anna cried.
she said she wished she had died in the campfire.
i have never heard her say anything negative about her burned hand before.
it was healthy, and healing.
we talked a lot about trials in life.
how everyone, everyone has trials... and this is hers.
life is about learning and growing and being able to empathize and serve.
at the doctors we saw a boy with half of his face burned.
i said, he probably looked at anna and thought that she had a perfect life.
he might not know that she had been burned also.
and, because she had a burned hand, she could empathize with that boy a little more.

my heart aches for that sweet girl.
i don't want her to hurt, or to be different.
i wish i could go back to that time of my life and whisper to me as a young mother--
STAY HOME!!  Protect her!
Everyday we try as mothers to protect our children from pain and disappointment.
but, we can not.  we should not.
life is about learning and growing.
anna, she is strong enough to endure this trial.
she will be given everything that she needs to endure the trials she has ahead of her in life.
she has a burned hand, and it is hard.
everybody has something hard.
life is good.
God loves us.
And, we are learning... all of us.
i have faith that God's plan is best. 
i know that someday Anna's hand will be whole again.
and, in that day, when her hand is whole... her heart will be a bit brighter and bigger.
she will shine with the light of Christ.
because in this life she learned to do hard things.
she learned to pray and rely on a Savior.
she learned to endure.
my sweet girl. 

i love her so much... and i know God loves her even more.

last night, anna was telling Ellie about her trip to Portland.

she said, "I told mom that i wish i could have died in the fire when i was a baby. and she said, then who would kiss lily goodnight every night? and i said, all her other sisters. and mom told me, there would be no lily... because if i would have died that night, mom would have died too."
before bed, we read another chapter of The Little House on the Prairie.
i loved this line...
"That afternoon Ma sat sewing in the shade of the house, and Baby Carrie played on the quilt beside her, while Laura and Mary watched Pa build the fireplace."
life is beautiful.

October 25, 2011

falling for sunday.

i love this land.
i love this family.
life is good.

i love this picture.  it is my life.


i love this picture.  the whole afternoon, leah was looking up... at squirrels, at leaves, at the sun.  love that! 

we had to stop the car on the way home.  someone stepped in dog poopy.  P-U!
i am so grateful.

October 24, 2011

blogs i've not written.

have you read boys life?
they always have "books not written" 
Getting Rid of Stress by Don U. Worry
Sweep the Floor by Dustin Cracks
Addition for Dummies by Adam Up
Poked by Bob E. Pinn

so, i've had fun this morning thinking about blogs that i've never written.
i was going to say, "Blogs I'll Never Write".
But, as i started thinking the list i realized that some are blogs i hope to write someday.
So, the blogs i hope to write someday, i'll put a * by.  The * means "not yet, but someday".
Tangent--  When I was reading other peoples 100 things about me lists, I was surprised at how DIFFERENT my friends were from me.  I would read and think, "NO WAY!"
At first that bugged me, and then I loved it.
It proved that we don't have to be the same to be friends.
In fact, it proved that what I love most about so many people is how they are different from me.
I'm sure some of you could write these blogs that I can't...
I'm sure that many of you are teaching me things that I need to know so that someday I can write these blogs.
We all have different strengths and talents and we are all learning and growing each day...  isn't it great?!!
We each have a different path here on earth, but hopefully, we are all headed in the same direction!

Enjoy my list of blogs not written... by Jenifer Moss

1.  Eve Slept Through the Night!*
2.  My European Travels*
3.  I Sang a Solo
4.  My Russian Adoption
5.  Creating a Great Exercise Routine
6.  I Never Say Jerk or Damn*
7.  Perfect Bedtimes**
8.  My Sabbath Day was a Day of REST*
9.  I'm ALWAYS happy*
10.  How to be the Perfect Daughter/Daughter-in-law*
11.  How to Load the Dishwasher
12.  I'm the Cookie Queen
13.  Organizing Comes Naturally
14.  Keeping Your Car Clean with Children*
15.  I'm not Tired!*
16.  I'm Bored.
17.  Need Some Ideas How to Fill My Day
18.  Life as a Mother of Eight*
19.  Empty Nesting*
20.  Bed Rest is NOT as Ideal as it Sounds
21.  My Kids are Teenagers and They Really Like Each Other*
22.  Punctuation 101
23.  Pets- Gotta Love Them
24.  Eating Eggs from MY Chickens
25.  Eating Veggies from MY Garden*
16.  I have a House Plant*
17.  It Feels So Nice to Have an Ample Savings Account*
18.  Being the Mother of a Missionary*
19.  Life is Easy.
20.  Parenting- The WAY.
21.  Marriage is Easy.
22.  It's November and I'm all Ready for Christmas.*
23.  Our Family Went to Uganda*
24.  I Need a Project.
25.  Does Anyone Know How to Gain Weight?
26.  Aperture- Why You Care What it is*
27.  I Never Go to Bed With my House a Mess*
28.  Watch My Family During Church- We are Perfectly Behaved*
29.  Things I Wish I'd Known When I was 34*
30.  Tips on Hair and Makeup
31.  See My Cute, White Furniture
32.  See the Cute Photo Books I Made for My Kids*
33.  Running a Marathon!
34.  I Finished All the Quilts I Started!
35.  Finishing a To Do List
36.  Garage Sales 101*
37.  Budgeting 101*
38.  The Art of Small Talk*
39.  How to Set a Goal and Accomplish It.*
40.  Planning Ahead.*
41.  My Life as a Swimsuit Model
42.  Trendy 101.
43.  Call Me, The Professor.*
44.  My Last Child Went to School Today and I Cried.*
45.  I LOVE Being Pregnant.
46.  Getting Stains Out of Laundry 101.
47.  Feeling Confidant.*
48.  Finding Time to Blog and Proofread.*
49.  Ways I Make Money.*
50.  I Didn't Get Pulled Over By an Oregon Cop This Week.*

What blogs will you never write?
Have a great day!!

October 22, 2011

choosing that good part.

i had a conversation with my sister in law, Rebekah, this afternoon and i had an AHA moment.
seriously, i hung up and wrote in my journal and then I had to blog about it because i NEVER want to forget this.

Do you know, I finally realized that sometimes it is just as WRONG for me to have a clean house as it is for me to have a messy house.

It is WRONG for me to be too obsessed over my home, my appearance, my health, my children's behavior, clothes, cooking, weight, grades, etc., etc...  
The best thing we can do is to LOVE OTHER PEOPLE. 
Anything that keeps us from loving and serving is WRONG, even if it is a good thing.
That Scratch, he is a tricky fella.  I've missed this for many years. 
I think I've lived this way, but mentally I haven't embraced the truth. 

I didn't recognize the lie that I believed.  Satan had power over me because I didn't recognize him.
When I notice things in my life that are undone, Satan tells me that I have chosen WRONG.
For a long time God has been trying to teach me this lesson.
When I am choosing "that good part", lots of good parts are left undone.
When I am doing exactly what God wants me to do, there are things that I will see that are good, that need to be done.
I do not need to feel bad that they aren't done yet.  But maybe, they are just the next good part for me to do.
Wouldn't life be GREAT if we could go from good thing to good thing without feeling GUILT?
We can TOTALLY do this.
Sometimes, my family needs to come first.  Sometimes I need to stop and clean my home, do the laundry, pull back and find my bearings.
But, that is NOT where I should STAY.

Rebekah is reading Henry David Thoreau's Walden.  She said something like, while living in a cottage in the woods sounds ideal, it isn't the life God wants us to live.  He wants us to SERVE people.
And it hit me--  God doesn't WANT me to spend my whole life organizing and cleaning and exercising and reading my scriptures... those things are all very good.  But if I don't SERVE, Satan has still won.
LIFE is serving and interacting and making messes.
LIFE is connecting and LOVING others.

1. The greatest good we can do in this world is to LOVE one another and SERVE one another.

2. God wants us to LOVE and SERVE. Satan wants to isolate us.
3. God wants us to LOVE and BE KIND to ourselves. Satan wants us to beat ourselves up.
4. Sometimes, we have to CHOOSE better over good. There are good sacrifices and bad sacrifices.
5. Sometimes, when we are choosing to LOVE and SERVE, we choose NOT to clean our home, wash our dishes, or do the laundry.
6. A messy house DOES NOT mean that we have chosen poorly. In fact, OFTEN, a messy house means we are doing EXACTLY what God wants us to be doing... LOVING and SERVING.
7. I believe that God wants me to look at my messy home and SEE goodness. To see all that I have been doing that is GOOD. And, not to feel guilty about the parts that I haven't chosen.

and, it's not just a messy house... it's LOTS of things.
Truth- sometimes when we are choosing the good part we will be messy, tired, overwhelmed, unorganized and even fat. 
Choosing that good part, that BEST part... isn't always the part that makes us LOOK perfect.  dang it.
sometimes, we can love and serve other better when we don't look perfect, have a perfect house, or have perfectly behaved children.
{haven't you ever seen someone you thought was perfect completely stressed out and thanked God that you were normal?!!}
-does this make sense at all?

I choose that good part continually, when I go from one good thing, to another good thing, without feeling guilty that I haven't already done every good thing!!
Did you catch that?
It is the key to happiness...
choosing that good part means that we are choosing.
choosing between many good things.
choosing that good part means that sometimes other good parts are left undone.
we can choose them later. 
when we walk with God, we are constantly choosing that good part.
and we never really sacrifice anything.
God knows the path to eternal happiness.  He is showing us.
I have walked with Him, and when I do my life is beautiful.
My family is happy.  My heart is full of love for others.
My home is not always magazine perfect. 
My body isn't magazine gorgeous. 
My kids aren't always magazine clean or well dressed. 
Sometimes, we eat triscuits and apples in the car.  Sometimes we pray to find the same pair of shoes four times in one week.
There are days that are fast, and days where my life slows down and I find order again.

I am FINE.  always. 
If I don't wallow in shoulds, and listen to that evil spirit who whispers lies.
When I am serving, everything is better.  Always.
When I choose that good part, life is good.
 oh so good.
i KNOW it.

-- this post is too long.  someday, i am going to figure out what i am trying to say and say it again shorter.  today, you get my whole thought process... and, my time is up, so enjoy the ramblings!!

October 21, 2011

sour words.

how do you teach your children to LOVE one another and SERVE one another?

i've been thinking about this a lot lately...
i tend to cycle... encourage good, ignore bad, encourage better, teach good, teach better, punish bad, reward better, encourage good, punish bad, etc., etc... 

different ages respond to different things.
i have all ages.  :)
here are some ideas i've gathered:

1. Sour words?  Give them a medicine dropper-ful of VINEGAR.  (from my sister-in-law).
I've used soap before, but i LOVE vinegar.  My 3 year old has been biting her 5 year old sister.  The 5 year old instigates with teasing words.  I knew biting was something that i needed to come down on hard and fast... so, last time they fought i sat them both on my counter and squirted vinegar into their mouth.  I always say, "oh, this is so sad.  when you use sour words you have to get sour stuff.  your mouth doesn't like sour words... she only wants to speak SWEET words to her sister, and she NEVER bites."  Things like soap, or pepper, or vinegar don't have to be repeated often in my home.  But they are remembered as horrible and usually i just have to gently ask, "Are you speaking sour words?" and my kids change pronto.

2. You were best friends in Heaven.  I got this idea from Shawni.  It has been so fun for me to remind my kids that Heavenly Father sent them to the earth as siblings because they were best friends in Heaven.  Heavenly Father sent them to love one another and help each other here on Earth.  I love the little grins they get on their faces when I remind them of their eternal promises to care for each other.  This has been a great reminder.

3. We're HIKING together.  as we were memorizing Mosiah 4:14-15 in family night the phrase "you will teach them to WALK in ways of truth and soberness" stuck in my mind.  I talked about hiking 5 miles at girl's camp... about happy hikers and cranky hikers.  How we were only as fast as the slowest hikers.  I told them that my FAVORITE people were the ones who encouraged the cranky hikers.  Come on friend, you can do it.  I'll carry your pack for you.  Let's sing together.  You're doing a great job.  We're almost there.  This was a great reminder to Todd and me also.  Now, at the end of the day, when we are both about to loose it... we just smile and say, "We're almost at the top Happy Hiker!!"  It changes the mood instantly.

4.  Use humor.  Tweenage boys don't do well with confrontation.  But, they are VERY funny.  Or at least they think they are.  Anytime I can diffuse a situation with humor, it works.  In our FAVORITE movie, "The Master of Disguise", Pistachio is becoming an Indian man.  He says, "Become another person.  Become another person."  We say, "Become a Jolly person, become a JOLLY person" in an Indian accent.  It's funny, and it works.

5.  Replace evil for good.  Some prophet (Wilford Woodruff?)  tells a story of picking out a ham to give to a widow.  He has the thought, "just give her a small one, she won't know."  He says out loud, "Watch it Scratch or I'll give her TWO hams."  We recognize Satan often at our home.  I also tell my kids... if you obey your parents you will be happy.  We love you and want you to be happy.  Satan hates you and wants you to be miserable like he is.  So true!

Those are just the five that came to mind first... I'm racing out the door to a parent teacher conference right now.
I'd love to hear your ideas.
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